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Better Lighting - What Do You Recommend? (Read 84 times)
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Better Lighting - What Do You Recommend?
04/21/21 at 18:16:50
 
I have started adding better lighting to my off road machines lately.  Most recently I added a set of Baja Design LP6 lights on my Jeep.  They are about the most amazing lights I've ever used.  Spread of light is great, and range is incredible.  The first time I pulled in my driveway late at night with these lights on I noticed something next to my garage that I had never seen before.  It was very obvious, so I stopped and studied it for a while before I figured out what it was.  My house is on a ridge line, and there is usually nothing but the darkness of empty air visible next to my garage.  With the new lights I was seeing the canyon wall way over on the other side of the canyon behind my house, and it was lit up like daylight, nearly a mile away.

So now I want to add better lighting to a couple of UTVs.  The LP6 lights on my Jeep won't fit well on a UTV, so I thought about using their smaller brother, the LP4, from Baja Designs.  But I have also thought about using a light bar.  For the X3 I would want enough range for speeds up to 60 mph or so, at night, on desert roads.  For the Defender I doubt it will ever be driven over 30 mph at night, and more often in the mountains.  What are the advantages and disadvantages of a light bar over a pair of round lights?  I've never owned a light bar.  What are good models to look at?
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BruteForce
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Re: Better Lighting - What Do You Recommend?
Reply #1 - 04/22/21 at 05:16:55
 
I too have been doing the same. My Jeep(s) now have extra light, with my JT having outrageous lighting. With the JT, I went with the Quadratec behind the windshield lightbar; its two color: Amber and bright white.

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For the JLU and ATV's, I've purchased 20-22" AUXBeam LED lightbars.

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Hello, my name is: Jim

2020 Jeep Gladiator
-Falcon Shocks
-2" Lift, 37" Tires/Wheels
-Electronic rock sliders
2023 Polaris Sportsman XP 1000 (HO/EPS/Jet Black)
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Re: Better Lighting - What Do You Recommend?
Reply #2 - 04/23/21 at 08:42:12
 
I like that idea of the hidden light bar, behind the front windshield, on your Jeep.  It looks much better than putting one outside the windshield on the roof.  How do you keep from damaging the outside lightbars with low hanging tree branches, or even from going through the local Tag-N-Go car wash?  If I were going to install a light bar on my Jeep I would go the route you went.  I do have one question though ...

I had roll bar mounted lights on a pickup truck, way back in the day, and didn't like the lights shining light on the hood.  Does that cause any problems with a light bar mounted at the top of the windshield?  I would think that the light shining on the hood would decrease your night vision for being able to see things farther away.

That 20" light bar you are using also looks pretty good.  12,000 lumens is decent light output.  Are you using a 20" light bar on your ATV though?  Do you have an pictures of it?  I am going to try and use a 10" light bar on both of my UTVs, and mount them up on the front end, so I don't have light shining on the hood.  I am looking at a Baja Designs OnX6 10" light bar that puts out 15,000 lumens, and a Rigid dual row 10" light bar that puts out 19,000 lumens.
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Re: Better Lighting - What Do You Recommend?
Reply #3 - 04/23/21 at 09:39:31
 
I bought a cheap Chinese light bar for my ATV.  The difference between using it and using the headlights is absolutely night and day... you can see 3x farther (or more), and there's plenty of light off to the sides of youto see into the trees as you ride... like seeing wildlife that may be ready to jump out in front of you.   Grin  I mounted mine so it extends forward from the front rack, so the light goesn't reflect back.

I also figured if I ran it into something and broke it, or its water seals failed, I could replace it many times for the cost of the more expensive bars... I'm three years into it, and it hasn't given me trouble yet.  I only ran into something hard enough to move it once... a stout pull upwards, then a twist with the screwdriver to re-tighten, and it's been good ever since.

One of the bigger decisions is the light pattern you want.  Are you looking to see things 100 yards away straight ahead, or are you looking to see stuff close up, but off to the sides?  My bar has a rather generic mix of spot and flood, it works out well enough for the riding I do.
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Re: Better Lighting - What Do You Recommend?
Reply #4 - 04/23/21 at 10:08:53
 
Here is the light pattern of the Rigid 10" LED I am thinking about using on the Defender.  It is a combination spot/flood light.  19,000 lumens of "oh baby".

For the Maverick X3 I would probably go with a combination spot/driving light to get a little more range, because it gets driven at higher speeds.
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Don Parscale
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Re: Better Lighting - What Do You Recommend?
Reply #5 - 04/25/21 at 18:24:11
 
I also found the bulbs make a big difference. On my Arctic Cat there was a bulb that fit in the stock socket that had twice the light. DON~~~
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Re: Better Lighting - What Do You Recommend?
Reply #6 - 05/05/21 at 13:57:51
 
I finished the project, and I like the way it turned out.  This little 10" light bar throws down some serious lighting.  I drove around the block to check it out, and when almost home I turned off the light bar, and for a second there I thought I didn't even have the regular headlights on.  They were actually on high beam, but they are so much dimmer that it takes a second or so to realize you still have lights on after switching off the light bar.


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